Gillian Dooley

Gillian Dooley reviews 'Softly, As I Leave You' by Chandani Lokugé

Gillian Dooley
20 January 2012

A treacherous beauty pervades Chandani Lokugé’s third novel, a tragic story of loss and squandered love. Chris Foscari, owner of a rarefied specialist bookshop in Melbourne and son of an Italian father and an Australian mother, is married to the outrageously beautiful Sri Lankan Uma, whom he met when she was studying in Melbourne. They have a teenage son, Arjuna, who is also blessed with unu ... More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'The Coming of the Whirlpool' by Andrew McGahan

Gillian Dooley
24 November 2011

Any novel by Andrew McGahan is likely to be a surprise, if you know his previous work, but if you were to approach this book knowing nothing about the author, there would be little about it to disturb your expectations. The cover, with its heraldic design against a marine backdrop, immediately signals its genre, and the maps on the endpapers, showing McGahan’s imagined geography of a place ca ... More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'Foal's Bread' by Gillian Mears

Gillian Dooley
25 October 2011

Gillian Mears has been to death’s door and back. Her wonderful essay ‘Alive in Ant and Bee’ (2007) recounts the journey and the exquisite pleasures of her life as a survivor. Writing has taken a back seat, understandably, over the past decade or so. There has been a short story collection, A Map of the Gardens (2002), but a novel from Mears is quite an event, sixteen years after ... More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'A Waltz for Matilda' by Jackie French

Gillian Dooley
04 May 2011

Jackie French, a prolific author, is best known for her children’s books, with variations on historical themes clearly something of a specialty. A Waltz for Matilda, which seems to be aimed at a broader market, builds on the premise that the Jolly Swagman of Banjo Paterson’s song is not alone. His twelve-year-old daughter, Matilda, is with him and witne ... More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'Love in the Years of Lunacy' by Mandy Sayer

Gillian Dooley
21 April 2011

Mandy Sayer has been winning awards since the start of her career more than twenty years ago. Her first novel, Mood Indigo (1990), a pacy, absorbing account of a remarkable and rackety childhood, bagged the Vogel in 1989. Its autobiographical origins become clear when read in conjunction with her memoir Velocity (2005), which covers Sayer’s early ... More

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